Abbott raises state’s readiness ahead of severe weather threat

HOUSTON – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott raised the readiness level of the state ahead of the potential for severe weather moving through Friday.

The KPRC 2 Severe Weather Team said a powerful cold front will march across Texas, bringing the chance for hail, high winds and tornadoes. The best chance for significant severe weather is across central and eastern sections of the state. For the Houston region, the worst of the weather is expected between 9 p.m. Friday and 2 a.m. Saturday.

Abbott said moving the State Operations Center to Level III readiness places numerous resources on standby. Those include boats, helicopters, rescue teams and medical strike teams. Law enforcement and volunteer organizations have also been placed on standby.

“All residents should heed warnings from local officials and pay attention to weather alerts,” Abbott said in a written statement released Thursday. “I ask that all Texans keep those in the storm’s path and all of Texas’ first responders in their prayers as they deal with the effects of this storm.”

Houston officials urge preparedness

Officials in the Houston area urged people to closely monitor weather conditions and stay indoors during the worst of the weather.

“Mayor Turner is going to be activating the EOC, the Emergency Operations Center,” Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said Thursday. “We will be able to deploy, but again, common sense goes a long way in life.”

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said that while the storm is expected to pass relatively quickly, it’s important for people to use good judgment.

“We need folks to be very careful,” Hidalgo said. “If they can help it, stay off the roads while it’s raining. It will pass fairly quickly. It’s a fast-moving thunderstorm that we’re expecting, so (it’s) a good excuse to stay at the bar or wherever folks are Friday night.”

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